Review of "Star" on FOX From The TV MegaSite

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"Star" review by Suzanne 12/14/16
Premieres Wednesday, 12/14 on FOX

This show is about a tough young woman named Star (Jude Demarest), a foster kid, who has a lot of drive, ambition, talent and attitude. She wants to make it big in the music business, so she leaves her horrible foster home, rescues her younger half-sister, Simone (Brittany O'Grady, who's also a great singer), and she meets up with another young woman, Alexandra (Ryan Destiny), that she met online who writes great music. They form a girl group after tracking down an older woman named Carlotta, their godmother (Queen Latifah).  Although the girls have no formal training, they write and sing great music as well as dance and are really pretty and sexy.  Most of the people in the cast are attractive and sexy. This is definitely an eye candy show with good music.

I won't say this is a "good" show, but I find it very enjoyable, at least, based on the first episode. I'm sure many people will try to compare it to "Empire," which is also a musical soap opera on FOX about a family in hip hop.  "Empire" definitely is written better. The drama is great, the plot weaves around and surprises you, and the characters are very compelling. Also, the music is good. "Empire" and "Star" are both created and produced by Lee Daniels, but this one is also with writer Tom Donaghy.

"Star" has much more likable characters. I have a problem with "Empire" because the main protagonist, Lucious, killed someone in the first episode. His ex-wife Cookie isn't much better.  They're all just awful people, so that makes it hard for me to watch.  The characters in "Star," by contrast, are not nearly as bad.

It's true that the titual character does try to murder someone in the first episode, but that person deserves it, and she was defending her little sister, so it's justified. There are many characters in the show, so it remains to be seen who's really bad and who's not, but so far, no one stands out as being really bad yet. Carlotta definitely doesn't like or trust Jahil (Benjamin Bratt), a talent manager who's seen better days. He was the manager of Carlotta's former girl group with Star's mother, Mary.  He's definitely sleazy, since he meets Star at a strip club, but otherwise, we don't know yet what he's really like.

Like most shows these days, it has very diverse characters. Jahil is Latino. Most of the cast is black, except for Star, who's white, and Simone, who's half-white. They have a transgender girl and a person who may be gay (I was having trouble with understanding some of the dialogue, so I'm not 100% sure).

I will definitely keep watching this show to see if I still like it. I would say it's not very realistic. I was a foster kid and knew many foster kids. They are generally abused or neglected by their parents, so they're not usually so driven and confident like Star. I'm not sure anyone who's had that kind of upbringing is that driven. Usually someone like that has had at least one good role model in their life or someone who believes in them, so that they can learn to believe in his or herself.  Star would be very insecure in real life, and/or have many anger issues. In fact, she kind of reminds me a little bit of this girl Annie I knew, who used sex and anger to get her way.  She was not particularly talented or driven, though.  She was sort of self-defeating, in fact.

Now, Simone, Star's sister, is a lot like many abused kids, who've turned to drugs, but the way they have her doing so many drugs and so much drinking, it seemed very fast and I wonder how they're going to handle how fast she falls.  The third woman just seems a bit spoiled and wanting to get out of the shadow of her famous dad. We don't know much about her yet.

I love Queen Latifah, and the other actors are good, and the music is pretty good, so it's worth hanging in there, even though it's just a fun musical fantasy and not very realistic.


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